George McLeay

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The Honourable
George McLeay
George McLeay.jpg
Senator for South Australia
In office
1 July 1935 – 30 June 1947
In office
10 December 1949 – 14 September 1955
Succeeded by Nancy Buttfield
Personal details
Born (1892-08-06)6 August 1892
Port Clinton, South Australia
Died 14 September 1955(1955-09-14) (aged 63)
North Adelaide, South Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Marcia Doreen Weston
Children 1 son, 1 daughter

George McLeay (6 August 1892 – 14 September 1955) was an Australian politician and senior minister in the Menzies Liberal government.

McLeay was born in Port Clinton, South Australia and educated at Port Clinton Public School until 1906 when he was sent to Adelaide where he continued his education at Unley Public School. At the outbreak of World War I, he was rejected for service in the First Australian Imperial Force and did civilian war work instead. He and his younger brother Jack—who also became a federal politician, as did his son, John—set up as accountants and agents and eventually became wholesale and retail merchants. In October 1924, he married Marcia Doreen Weston.[1]

Political career[edit]

At twenty McLeay joined the Liberal Union and in 1922 ran unsuccessfully for election for the seat of Adelaide in the House of Representatives. In the 1934 elections, he was elected to the Australian Senate. He was leader of the government in the Senate from November 1938 to October 1941 and Vice-President of the Executive Council from November 1938 to March 1940 and from October 1940 to October 1941. He was Minister for Commerce from April 1939 to March 1940 in the first Menzies Ministry and Minister for Trade and Customs from March to October 1940 in the second Menzies Ministry. He was Postmaster-General in the third Menzies Ministry from October 1940 until the fall of the government in August 1941 and Minister for Repatriation until June 1941 and Minister for Supply and Development from June to October 1941.[1]

McLeay was leader of the opposition in the Senate from 1941 until the end of his Senate term in June 1947. He was defeated in the 1946 elections, but re-elected to the Senate in 1949 elections. Robert Menzies appointed him Minister for Shipping and Fuel, in 1949, Minister for Shipping, Fuel and Transport in 1950 and Minister for Shipping and Transport in 1951. He energetically negotiated with shipowners and trade unions to improve the performance of the ports.[1] In 1954 the Commonwealth Railways named a diesel locomotive after him – NSU 51.[2]

McLeay suffered from diabetes mellitus and was affected by excessive travel and he died from ischaemic heart disease at Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide, survived by his wife, son and daughter.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Richards, Eric (2000). "McLeay, George (1892–1955)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 11 June 2007. 
  2. ^ Barrington, R, Babbage, J 1984: The History of the Pichi Richi Railway Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society Inc Quorn SA
Political offices
Preceded by
Billy Hughes
Vice-President of the Executive Council
1938–1939
Succeeded by
James Fairbairn
Preceded by
Earle Page
Minister for Commerce
1939–1940
Succeeded by
Archie Cameron
Preceded by
Robert Menzies
Minister for Trade and Customs
1940
Succeeded by
Eric Harrison
Preceded by
Eric Harrison
Postmaster-General
1940–1941
Succeeded by
Thomas Collins
Preceded by
Herbert Collett
Vice-President of the Executive Council
1940–1941
Succeeded by
Richard Keane
Preceded by
Philip McBride
Minister for Repatriation
1940–1941
Succeeded by
Herbert Collett
Minister for Supply and Development
1941
Succeeded by
Jack Beasley
Preceded by
Howard Beale
Minister for Shipping and Fuel
Minister for Shipping, Fuel and Transport
Minister for Shipping and Transport

1949–1955
Succeeded by
John Spicer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alexander McLachlan
Leader of the United Australia Party in the Senate
1938–1945
Defunct political party
New political party Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate
1945–1947
Vacant
Title next held by
Neil O'Sullivan